tv Martin Bashir MSNBC January 17, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
good afternoon. it's tuesday, january 17th, and here's what's happening. the hunter becomes the hunted. >> i'm not going to describe my great exploits. i went moose hunting. i think i heard enough from folks saying let's see your tax records. >> his tax return a secret. >> what's the effective rate i've been paying? probably closer to the 15%. >> his sense of humor running thin. >> he has a sense of being able to touch my funny bone. >> will mitt get the last laugh? yes, we begin just four days from the south carolina primary,
and mitt romney fending off his rivals to remain at the front of the pack after last night's 16th gop debate. it's clear that romney's got a spring in his step today on the campaign trail, and no wonder, the multimillionaire who recently claimed that he feared a pink slip says he's paying a lower tax rate than most americans. >> what's the effective rate i've been paying? probably closer to the 15% rate than anything because my last ten years, i've -- my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past from ordinary income or earned income. i get a bit of income from my book, but i gave that away and i get speakers fees from time to time but not very much. >> how much is not that much to mitt romney? more than $374,000. that's how much mr. romney earned in speaker's fees alone
from february 2010 to february 2011 according to his own campaign, around 42,000 for a speech. he's learning a little less than an average american earns in a year. not that much to mitt romney is earning seven times the median income. no wonder he can make $10,000 bets on stage. he earns that in minutes. a single person earning 60 grand a year pays twice the tax rate that mitt romney pays, 30%. i guess that might give us a collie as to why he's been cagey about releasing the tax returns even when pressed by rick perry.
>> we need for you to release your income tax so the people of this country can see. we cannot fire our nominee in september. we need to know now. >> i feel like we're showing a lot of exposure at this point. if i become our nominee and what's happened in history and people release them in april of the coming year and that's what i'll do. >> we might learn about it once he's got the nomination in hand. the white house wasted no time jumping on that line by giving governor romney a history lesson. >> it's an established tradition for presidential candidates to release their tax records. senator obama did release multiple years. i think tfit was a tradition th was initiated by george romney. >> perhaps george romney paid a
fairer share of his wealth back in 1968. let's bring in our panel. david corn and msnbc perry bacon. good afternoon. david, isn't it becoming easier to understand why mitt romney offers a $10,000 bet on the debate stage. he argues if you shouldn't run for election if you have a mortgage to pay and why he likes firing people because these comments come from the psychology of a man who is worth more than $200 million and makes $374,000 a year from speeches. >> i don't know. i'm shocked that mitt romney acts like a rich guy. he's not in the top 1%. i haven't done the math, but i'm guessing it's the.001% .001%.
first he tried to duck and finally had to answer the question about his tax returns. he couldn't just say, yes. we might, we intend to. other people have done it that way. all he have to say is i've made a lot of money and i'm going to release my tax returns like my daddy did. he just couldn't bring himself to say yes. >> he can't. >> we've had a lot of exposure already and i've gone hunting with moose and elk. >> a very good impersonation. if you ever get sacked, you got to go for mitt romney. >> i got to root for the win. >> i guess everyone is now jumping on the politics of envy band wagon, aren't they? >> it sounds like that's what he would say. you see april is great month.
he would have pretty much sown up the nomination before then. it's far before the general election. that month was not picked randomly and not because of tax day. he's thought about this very carefully. what i think he's done these last couple of days with the politics of envy, the tax return, his comments from last night. the obama campaign can turn this into a election not just about romney's comments but a broader critique on his views of inequality. he's really opened himself up now by a series of unforced errors and he sounds like an out of touch rich guy at times. >> do you think his tax return will cause him most grief in the present? >> i think a lot has to do with how he handles it. i think the obama campaign is going to run from the guy
against monopoly. if he doesn't talk about income equality or just dismisses it as not a big issue, just the politics of envy, at the same time he says he's paying close to 15%, maybe he's paying underneath it. he's the walking body of the 1%. the problems with bain get wrapped into that. >> this is the man who's own tax plan is to reduce the level of taxes paid on dividends. he wants to improve his wealth. >> he's the total 1% package. his policies and his own life, god bless him for making all that money. you still get pretty big majorities in this country. people are concerned about that and want to see it addressed. he puts it to the side and side
that's too european to me. he doesn't say it in french, but he says it in english. it's going to be a real good test this fall if he's a nominee whether that type of anti-politics of envy approach can score big if politics. >> perry, if we can move on slightly. juan williams pressed newt gingrich to make poor children work as janitors and his favorite line calling obama the food stamp president. take a listen to there. >> it sounds as if you're seeking to belittle people. >> well, first of all, juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food samples by barack obama than any president in american history. >> perry, how much more of this repugnant commentary about mr. obama being food stamp president
are we supposed to put up with? >> i think he will probably be done. what i thought was striking is the comment he made before about getting rid of the overpaid janitors in new york and giving the job to low income kids. the comment didn't make sense for a variety of reasons. janitors in new york are buying yachts. they are not getting that much money. if you think about janitors in new york need their job. it goes to the fact that gingrich asked a question about income and equality and doesn't seem to have thought through the issue very much. it was a very striking newt gingrich is known as an ideas man. he didn't seem to think through. >> we know the audience cheered when newt gingrich said that. they roared.
>> what newt's done in the past couple of weeks, i think you put it well, is repugnant. often when he talks about food stamps, he associates it with african-americans. mainly -- more whites are on food stamps than blacks. and people in the military are on food stamps. he also said that elites despise giving people jobs, attacking obama for being a food stamp president. president obama is pushing a jobs program that's $447 billion in spending and includes summer jobs program and many other things. for a guy who claims to care about ideas, it's really pretty shallow and ugly. it's far more obvious than a dog whistle. >> it's pretty nasty.
david corn and perry bacon. thanks so much for joining us. the tea party senator who says it's time for rick perry to ride off into the sunset. >> what a difference one man or woman can make. let me talk about that just for a moment. scripture standpoint. if you think about it over in hebrews. there's a sum ration that people who live my faith. the interesting thing is they were all broken people. moses, he tried to talk god out of making him go lead the people. he wasn't a good public speaker. from time to time, i can relate to that. god used him any way. ♪ so you earn 50% more cash.
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be president of the united states commits his attention to two main policy areas; domestic and foreign. last night rick perry proved incompetent in both. asked about voting rights and strict state voter id laws, which the justice department takes a look at. he raised the speck tor about not just jim crow. he suggested that turkey is run by islamic terrorists and is no friend of nato and the west. >> yes, not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong to be in nato but it's time for the united states when we look at
their foreign aid to go to zero with it. >> well, less than an hour ago the state department responded saying it absolutely and fundamentally disagrees as islamic terrorists run turkey. combined with his previous gaps, a former supporter is saying it's time for perry to give up the ghost. joining us south carolina state senator, larry grooms. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> being an elected official in south carolina and knowing that state's history, as you do, did you appreciate the way perry couched the stand off over voter id laws as south carolina being at war with the federal government? >> i believe we are at war with the federal government. i'm a sponsor of our voter id law, and we just found out that
we had over 900 dead people to vote in this last election. i think we do need to do a better job in securing our ballot. governor perry, i've got the world of respect for the governor. i think he's a great man. i think he would be great leader but the time has come -- >> you have now publicly switched allegiances to rick santorum. is this because you came to the conclusion of many that rick perry lacks an even a rudimentary understanding of the world? >> i think he has a pretty good understanding of the world. >> you do? he has a good understanding of turkey as being an important member of nato? you think he has a good understanding of pakistan? >> i think he's got a better understanding than maybe you. my problem is not with him. it's with his campaign. i'm a conservative. i have a totally different world
view than the leadership in the white house today. i want to make sure that we do all we can to put a true conservative in the white house. >> why have you withdrawn your allegiance and transferred it to somebody else? we'll come to whom in a moment. why have you decided not to support rick perry anymore? >> it's time for all conservatives to take a look at their candidates right now and rick perry's campaign, let's say is less than stellar. >> just so i can get it clear. you're saying you don't think his campaign is very good, is that right? >> it could billie a lot better. >> what about the con tent of what he says? can you really imagine a man like this being in a position of such high office when he has not the first idea of our relationship, the united states relationship with turkey.
when he describes the government of turkey as being run by islamic terrorists? >> i disagree that the government is run by islamic terrorists. there's a lot of things that a lot of candidates say that i disagree with. there's no such thing as a perfect candidate . i'm looking for a conservative to win the white house. >> why not mr. gingrich or mitt romney? >> i've had extensive conversations with newt gingrich and i think he would be a fine president. let's get behind someone who has the wind and the one who is catching the wind right now is senator rick santorum. >> yet, you know with foure d polls have romney ahead in south carolina. he's also well ahead in the next primary state, florida.
romney could lead january having gone four to four in the nominating contests, couldn't he? >> that's very possible. i think it would billione a miso have a moderate. >> what happens if he becomes the nominee? do you withdraw your support from him? do you abstain in some way? >> absolutely not. i'm a republican. i believe that our ideas are a lot better than those of the other side. i would prefer a standard bearer be a rock solid supporter. that's why i'm supporting rick santorum. >> thanks so much for joining us this afternoon. >> thank you. next, the real key to the election. oil. stay with us. ♪
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now, to an international antagonist that's been on the sidelines. as today's pass is becoming increasingly worry for the obama administration. iran's threats to close the straits of hormuz has set the cost of a gallon of gas sky high. many analysts predict consumers will be paying near $5 come election day. kristen welker joins us. i understand iran did arise as an issue. what happened? >> reporter: it did. i asked white house press secretary jay carney about this very matter, and he said that he believes that what the u.s. is going in iran is working. essentially, the united states has imposed some of its stiffest
sanctions to date. you're seeing iran's economy in a downward spiral. you're seeing some of the united states allies begin to follow suit. right now the european union posed to impose an oil embargo against iran. iran's opec government made a comment that if the eu does do this, it will mean economic suicide for european countries. when i asked carney about that, he basically batted that away. he said this is a sign that iran is boxed in, is isolated and in downward spiral. right now the white house is taking the line, officially, at least, that they believe their strategy in iran is working. martin. >> yet, mitt romney has jumped on the issue saying the president isn't doing enough. what's the price of the president focusing solely on economic pressure at this point? does he really want to do anything that might cause some kind of military conflict?
of course, he doesn't. >> reporter: seems like the white house is trying to avoid military conflict at all costs. there's a political toll this could take. mitt romney and some of the other gop candidates have said the president isn't taking a tough enough line on iran. the white house has responded by saying this administration took out osama bin laden. more importantly, the white house has been clear they're not taking any option off the table. essentially, making the point, we're not ruling out military action, but we want to give sanctions a chance. interestingly, the president is meeting with king of jordan. they will undoubtedly discuss the situation in iran. >> just a final question and quickly. we know it's mohammad ali's 70th
birthday and it's always someone's birthday in the house behind you. >> reporter: it is. it's the first lady's 48th birthday. we have no way of knowing how they are celebrating. people are saying happy birthday to the first lady and sentds their e-mail addresses to the obama campaign and a donation as well. not a bad birthday gift. >> we extend our warmest congratulations to the first lady as well. thanks so much. >> reporter: thanks martin. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. >> the people of south carolina are frustrated. it's less than a week before the election, and there's still no candidate for us. thankfully, there's one name on the ballot that stands for true american anonymity. american frs a better tomorrow
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no late fees. no penalty rate. no worries. okay. you didn't have two hours to devote to fox news. how's two minutes? here is debate recap. >> you can take one janitor and hire 37 kids to work in the school. they would be getting money which is a good thing if you're poor. >> we cannot fire our nominee in september. we need to know now. >> i think i've heard enough from folks saying let's see your tax records. >> you were teased saying you hunted var mines. >> i've been a rodent and rabbit hunter. >> i just wonder if you've gone hunting since '07. >> i'm not going to describe all of my great exploits.
>> i'm after wild game. >> andrew jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about american's enemi enemies, kill them. >> maybe we ought to consider a golden rule in foreign policy. don't do to other nations what we don't want to happen to us. >> they obviously made a mistake. >> you're talki ining about urinating on the corpses. >> what is despicable, cutting danny's head off. >> it makes you wonder how much influence he would have if he was president. >> you have a super pac ad. it's probably the biggest hoax since big foot. >> i would say stop it. >> there was a pattern in some companies, a handful of them. >> bain swept. they picked that company over. >> every time we invested. we tried to grow an enterprise to ad jobs. >> i ask questions that are
legitimate questions. >> of course you do. let's get right to our panel now. in the studio, crystal ball and in pennsylvania, dr. james peterson. good day to both you. crystal, here is how south carolina's biggest paper framed the debate. romney fends off rival's attacks. they say santorum failed to breakthrough. i guess it's time, basically, for hail mary pass for all of the opponents to romney. it's just desperate stakes now. >> i think it's a hail mary and a kick at this point. >> by the new york joints who did brilliantly. >> i'm a washington redskins fans. >> i feel sorry for you. >> no, it's desperation time.
they were trying to throw as much read meat as possible. newt gingrich's was great for the crowd. he played racial politics like i've not seen. it's crazy and despicable. while his performance was effective. it's not going to be enough to breakthrough and turn things around for him. >> dr. peterson, we can say romney's got it in the bag. we talked to a south carolina state senator who switched his allegiance from rick santorum, not to romney. >> i think the end-game strategy for the republican s a tricky one. what they have to do is show their allegiances and there's some of these big donors and bigger figure heads that cannot get behind romney.
they just can't do it. you see the shift from perry to santorum is way of saving face. >> how do you think mitt romney did on the bain capital issue? according to the latest washington post poll, in just a month, the number of people who view romney and his bain record unfavorably has grown by 9%. >> this is a much more effective attack for the general election. he came into this debate prep e prepared. he knew he was going to get attack and he was ready and went into the specifics of each of the companies. >> he sounded as though he was prepared. >> what i would say, is he doesn't want to be in place where he's having to detail and get down into the weeds of how many jobs were created and lost. he really opened himself up to this by committing the mistake of putting out there a specific number. last night it was 120,000 jobs. >> it keeps going up. >> when he ran in 1994 it was
10,000 and he got beat up by that number. he seems to not learn his lesson. >> what do you think of him saying that $374,000 for speeches isn't that much. i guess it isn't much when your total assets are millions. >> i don't know what world he is living in. the bottom line is the way which he operates in bain capital is not the way the american people want the president to operate. it's going to be tricky to overcome that. the more he talks about bain, the more pretentious he looks. i think the more people will look into it and think about what it is that bain capital did under his tenure there. >> is he a member of the 1%? >> he's a member of the .0001%.
he could not be a more poorly suited candidate. going into the general election, especially with the wonderful framing that republicans have done for us democrats, he's going to have a tough landscape ahead of him. >> you agree with that dr. peterson? >> i do. you saw the colbert super pac ad. the metaphorcal impact has a much more figurative impact than in the political reality. people are not going to want that kind of person in charge of the pursestrings of the united states. >> final question. how is thursday's debate going to shape down? it was pretty nasty. >> i'm sick of these debates. >> south carolina is the last stand. they're going to be throwing everything at mitt romney that they can, not to mention each other.
they are vying for the title of the supreme anti-mitt candidate. next, much more from south carolina. stay with us. >> i went moose hunting -- not moose hunting, elk hunting. i'm not the great hunter that some on this stage probably, rick perry, you're a serious hunter. >> i think you're probably right. whoa! golly, that is deep snow!
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while now, the fight ahead for the president may not be so easy. for more on this let's get right to it with dnc communications director who join us from south carolina. you're there in south carolina, but shouldn't you go direct to florida. >> they have. we have found, to some extent, common cause on these issues. i went to the university of south carolina. i wouldn't miss the opportunity to come down here and try to set the record straight on mitt romney. i think you may have seen a pint in this debate where mitt romney appears to be hiding something from the voters. you saw that on fox news. he dodged question after question about his record, taxes, hunting. voters don't like that. >> to be fair, he didn't dodge
the question about hunting. he couldn't remember what he did hunt. >> well. >> you know in the latest washington post poll, they have mitt romney beating the president by a single point in the general election fight. there we are 48 to 46%, two points. it's not easy, is it? >> it'sgoing to be a tough election. mitt romney should perform well in the primaries and should perform well here. he's got millions of dollars in his own bank account. he's got a super pac. last night he said he hasn't had contact with it and today he said he's been encouraging it and raising money. it's going to be close and most of the elections are. there's another poll that had the president up four points, a public policy policy that had the president up 41 points with moderates. moderates are swing voters,
independent voters that will decide this election. they think mitt romney is out of touch with the polling, not very strong, 48%. only richard nixon won election with job approval under 50%. these are not great numbers for the president himself. >> well, look, this is a comparative exercise. the numbers that mitt romney is getting, he has a 35% approval in the ppp poll and unfavorable in the mid to high 50s. this is comparative. the president's approval rating has picked up over the past few months. the republicans have been out here. they have been having their say. they have been dominating the airways. the president will have an
opportunity to have a campaign at the appropriate time. at that point we'll let the chips fall where they may. when we have the opportunity to make our case, the president will be in strong shape. >> is your soul focus going to be on mitt romney's own career, his earnings capacity, his wealth as opposed to his policies? >> no, i think it will be both. we started to learn a little bit today about what mitt romney, for example, pays in taxes. this is not an issue of what he pays in taxes. he follows the law. the american think the law is unfair. he's opposed to changing the law so that people in his situation pay a higher rate than their secretaries and so forth. he's posed to that. he wants to continue to have the wealthy continue to do well and not do anything for the middle
class. that's going to be a problem with him in this election. >> thanks so much for joining us. can congress sink lower? we'll talk about what to expect this year. if you like the hoo because you got four points out there. a positive spanish bond auction. we had some good economic data here. the market is up across the board. off the highs, but still up as the so-called santa claus rally continues. the easter bunny rally. stocks are higher on those four points. martin bashir and his fine program will return right after this break. [ male announcer ] lately, there's been a seismic shift in what passes for common sense. used to be we socked money away and expected it to grow.
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we're continuing to see unacceptable levels of violence inside that country, and, so, we will continue to consult closely with jordan to create the international pressure that encourages the current to step aside. >> that was president obama today with jordan's king abdullah. representative peter welsh is a democrat from vermont. he joins us live from washington. good afternoon, sir. >> hi, martin. >> having just visited the region with other colleagues, is the president right in asserting that regime change in syria is something that america and other international partners should be striving for? >> yes. i mean, when you have a leader of a country using military forces to kill citizens who are in peaceful demonstrations,
that's a leader that's lost any confidence not only among his people, but in the international community. >> another delicate matter in the region, as you know, iranian relations, what did you learn about iran as you toured that region of the world? >> we were in saudi arabia, turkey -- >> you look like you got some color on your skin from that trip. >> the sun does shine a little brig brighter there this time of year. two things i would say. number one, there's broad consensus the world is going to be a safer place if iran desists from pursuing their nuclear ambitions. it's perceived as such even by countries like turkey that are more sympathetic to iran than we are. but secondly, the enthusiasm for a military option is much more muted in that region than it is
here in washington. and with good reason. turkey, for instance, has a large muslim population. what are the consequences of a military strike? they depend on natural gas from iran in order to heat their homes in the winter. cutter is only 50 mile. s across the strait of hormuz and fears they would be the first to be attacked. so there's support and sympathy for taking strong actions in the sanctions regime to try to effect iranian behavior. there's a lot less enthusiasm for talking about a military option than there seems to be here. >> that sounds remarkable, mr. welsh, because if you listen to the candidates, they appear to be saying the opposite. you've been in the region and you hear nations saying we don't want a military conflict.
yet republican candidates saying things like take military action against iran. >> that's the thing all of us should worry about. in the war in iraq and afghanistan, the largest per capita loss of troops was to vermont. these are consequential decisions. it becomes one upsmanship deal. who can have the strongest sanctions. and who is willing to pull the military trigger sooner rather than later. that's for domestic debate here, but it's a dangerous debate. this is a very volatile situation. there's danger in inaction. it's not good if iran gets a nuclear weapon. it's not good. but it's not a simple solution when even military advisors say that a military strike would be ineffecti ineffective, but not stop the nuclear program and would unleash unknown consequences in the region.
it's very dangerous. we should be a step at the time. we should be doing everything to work with allies over there. >> very quickly, sir, welcome back. but you were welcomed back by the lowest approval ratings for some time. a whopping 13% of american people think congress is being effective and approves of what you're doing. can you change that this year? >> we have e managed to exceed expectations. let's hope we can disappoint this year. i'll do my best. >> congressman, thank you so much. we'll be right back to clear the air. with better car replacement, if your car is totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. liberty mutual auto insurance. [ female announcer ] nature valley granola bars, rich dark chocolate, toasted oats. perfect combinations of nature's delicious ingredients, from nature valley. ♪
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it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. if you've had enough, ask your dermatologist about enbrel. it's time to clear the air. and enough already. for pity sake, rick perry really has to get out of this race. it's bad enough that he's embarrassed himself at the debates and been incapable of
remembering departments. he's displayed ignorance of networks that threaten american troops and seemed like a man without the most rudimentary understanding of the world. all of this has been mildly entertaining, but last night, he took the biscuit. asked if turkey belongs in nato, here's how he responded. >> when you have a country that's being resumed by what many perceived to be islamic terrorists, not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong, but it's time for the united states when we look at the their foreign aid to go to zero with it. >> it's now possible to state categorically that rick perry doesn't know what he's talking about. in fact, the only person who comes close to matching rick perry's rank ignorance is another one-time presidential candidate, herman cain. and i have no doubt he'll be washed up on the same island of
ignorance once the voters in south carolina have had their say. just to be clear, turkey is not ruled by islamic terrorists. it's an ally of the united states. it's a democratic secular republic where the vast majority of the population are muslims. turkey has worked hard at integrating in the west through the council of europe and the g-20. it's negotiating full membership to the european union. but rick perry doesn't know anything about turkey. which is why we'll leave the final word to a columnist on the eng lish language har yet daily in turkey. rick perry, what an idiot. enough said. thanks so much for watching. dylan ratigan is on the west coast and he's in his favorite bunker in burbank in california. >> did i hear you say this takes the biscuit? >> i did. >> can i use tha